Monday Made It

This is my last summer Monday!  The summer flew and it's now over.  I don't have to work today but if my room is going to be ready for meet the teacher night, going in is kind of a must.

Made It One: I think we've all seen those amazing reading benches on Pinterest by now.  These have been on my mind for years but I didn't think I had room for one.  After seeing Teeny Tiny Teacher's  reading bench on Instagram, I just knew I had to find room somewhere for a bench.  I realized one could be squeezed right between my desk and my library. Perfect!  So my husband and I ran to Ikea and picked these up:
 While I set up bulletin boards my husband put this beauty together.  So maybe it's his Made it??
Now my original configuration was suppose to look like a corner bench, but the two little cubes didn't work that way, so I stacked them up instead.  I can't wait to see my kids reading on this bench! Now to figure out what to put inside the cubes.  I'm thinking book bins, manipulatives, or baskets for extra general storage.

Made It 2: 
I updated my word wall to fit my theme better.  I'm excited to put it up today. Whenever I create I always try out several versions of something.  The first set had a brights background, I then wanted to see what they would look like with a black background.  I liked them both! I then made a white background version to complete the set.  I'm having a hard time deciding which one to use...
What have you been creating?  Please share and link up with Tara for Monday Made It!

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Assess Me! Linky Party

I'm linking up with The Tattooed Teacher for:
What a great way to get to know a little bit about each other!  So here is my assessment:


Have you linked up yet?  Head over and link up now by clicking HERE.
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Money Saving Tips and Tricks for Teachers

Hi! The Weekend Warriors are back to share some money saving tips and tricks for teachers!

I think it's fair to say teachers are always looking for ways to make our hard earned money stretch.  Here are some ways to do this:
Thrift Store Shopping
I built most of my library from Goodwill.  Did you know that they have a 50% off everything every other Saturday?  So their 70 cent books are half that price!  When I was a newer teacher I would scout three or four Goodwills in one day and get tons of books on the cheap!



Used Book Stores
I have two sets of books in my room.  The kids library books that the kids handle every day.  They get ripped and accidentally destroyed here and there but since I got them so cheap, it's not a huge deal if something happens to them.  My other set are my "nice" books that only I handle.  I use them as read alouds and mentor texts to teach about specific topics.  I usually get those books from used book stores like Half Price Books.  They are often in new or like new condition.  Excellent condition means that they will last me many many years.


Yard Sales/Online Yard Sales
Yard sales are just awesome!  Especially those found online that are targeted to teachers.  My favorite time to shop are at the end of the school year because teachers that are retiring are practically giving away their classroom materials.  One of my favorite finds lately have been FB garage sales.  There are several out there and even some specially for teachers in your city.  I have already picked up some great finds!  You just have to act quick because the good stuff sells fast.

Coupons and Discounts
Find stores that have great coupons and give teachers discounts!  Barnes and Noble gives teachers 20% off their purchases year round and an extra 5% during specific times of the year.  One of my favorite stores, Joann's, allows multiple coupons from their own store and from other craft stores to be used as long as they have different codes.   They also have teacher cards that give you 15% off all items (except their items already on sale).


Start Using DonorsChoose
This isn't really a trick, more of a tip.  If you are not on DonorsChoose, run and get on there now!  What I love about DonorsChoose is that you can ask for anything you need from their vendors list and most of the time it will fund.  My tips for funding your grants are:
1. Keep your budget as low as possible
2. Check for half-off funding offers for your state
3. Make sure to respond to emails and send all thank you packages out as soon as you can.  You get extra points for doing so and it all runs on points.  (This all makes sense once you get started.)
Once you get enough points, you can start making special requests to get items from anywhere.  My last grants were all for Teachers Pay Teachers curriculum! I was able to get lots of math, reading, and writing resources straight from the TpT site and into my classroom.

What are some things you do to make the budget stretch?  Please link up below and share with us :-)



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Monday Made It

I only have one more Monday before work begins.  It boggles my mind how quickly each summer goes.  I took this week to get some stuff ready for my first week of school:

1. Parent Flip Book
I've always wanted to give parents a flip book with all pertinent classroom information but I did not want to do all that cutting and pasting in order to get it working, plus I wanted it to be double sided.  So, I finally sat down and created a template for it.  It took a VERY long time and lots of test prints, but I got it done :-) I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'll be copying a bunch of extras so that I am able to hand these to parents when new students enroll in my class.


This is a little video of what it looks like on the inside:




2. I also made my student mailboxes this week. 
I started using these last year near the third quarter and they were life savers.  I wasn't sure how they would work out at that point so I didn't bother making labels, I just taped Post-it notes to each drawer :-/  #keepingitreal. The drawer mailboxes worked so well I decided to make formal labels for this upcoming year. 

I found that putting a folder at the bottom was the perfect way to build a portfolio throughout the year. I was able to put stand out pieces for each child in their folder and I pulled them out for parent conferences, retention meetings, tutoring focus, IEP meetings etc.  Those last minute IEP meetings were of no worry because I was able to pull out that folder and take it with me without having to gather last minute work.  Then I put graded assignments in the drawers and I sent that work home on a weekly basis (usually Thursdays).  Sending all student work home on one day was a new thing I tried this year also.  The parents loved it because they were able to see all the work at one moment without papers getting lost each day on the way home. I excited to have these from the beginning of the year! 

So that is it for me!  What have you made recently?  Link up with Tara for Monday Made It and share :-)

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Five For Friday

Hello!  I was about to go to bed and saw that Five for Friday went live, so I wanted to recap what I've been up to.  This recap is brought to you partially by Instagram.  I love sharing pictures there and it makes it easy to document life. LOVE Instagram!

1. First of all, I found these pens at Sam's and I had to grab them both!  I don't think teachers can ever have enough pens!  The Flairs were a steal at just under $15 for 20 pens! I know I've paid way more than that in the past!

2. I am so hooked on these Green Tea Fraps from Starbucks.  I blame my bestie @jennuineteaching for introducing me to a version of them.  They taste like vanilla but aren't super sweet. Yum!

3. I made my BTS flip books and I'm so happy with them!  I wanted some that didn't require cutting or pasting to create them and wanted them to be double sided to fit as much content as possible without wasting paper.  Love these!  If you want to read more about them, check out my post by clicking HERE where I share what I am including in these.

4. I went to Vegas for the TpT conference and had an AMAZING time! I got to meet so many amazing educators that I have long admired.  They were all so kind and willing to talk.  Oh yeah, I even got to meet Paul (founder of TpT) and he was so open to having a conversation with everyone.   I feel blessed being a part of the TpT community.

5. My Insta friend @owlinavowletree let me know that this shirt that was out of stock a while back, now is available on Zulily.  I clicked onto the site and saw SO many awesome book related items!  Let's just say I didn't just order this one shirt ;-)
So that is my little recap.  What have you been up to?  Link up with Doodle Bugs and share with us!

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Back-to-School Flip Book

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I was looking at my calendar and I realized that it's almost time to head back to school!! I'm in Arizona and we start in the first week of August.

I was looking at all the handouts I wanted to give out to my parents on meet the teacher night.  It's a lot of them and they always seem to get lost in bags and packets of materials from other teachers.   I decided to change things up a bit.  This year I want to share a BTS flip book to contains all my info in ONE easy to read document.

As I was deciding on what to send home, I wanted to create a flip book that didn't require cutting or pasting at all.  I needed something I could shoot throughout he copier, fold, and staple.  After countless hours, I figured out a way to make double-sided flip books that don't need any cutting or pasting!  No fuss I call them :)
Back to School flip book for Meet the Teacher night!

What do I include in my flip books?

1. Dress Code
The students at our school wear uniforms.  I gave a general description of what students should wear as part of their uniform and I put a picture of a collard shirt in there so that parents can see an example of what I'm referring too.  This is a good place to remind parents of common dress code violations such as no logos or exposed shoulders, and a reminder to send children to school with comfortable shoes that they can run and play in.  So many times I see little girls coming to school with high heels and they can't play the whole day with their friends.
Post loaded with ideas to include in your back-to-school flip book!

2. Classroom Information and Schedule
I teach in an ELD room which requires specific blocks of time to be used towards English development.  I took this time to let parents know what this and gave them our classroom schedule.  Having the class schedule in there will help parents schedule appointments in the future.  I always ask them to please try scheduling them after reading and math time if possible and parents appreciate the recommendation.

3. Supply List
I've found that pictures of what you need is so helpful to parents.  I wrote what items are needed and inserted pictures of what the items look like.  I just googled pictures that I needed and slipped them into the PowerPoint slide. 
Back-to-School flip book for Meet the Teacher night!

4. Rules and Procedures
What better time to explain your classroom rules and procedures?  I even included a picture of my clip chart in here and a description of each level.  This way if anything comes up, they will have this reference tool to look back to.  

5. Homework 
I gave a general description of daily homework here.  So many times I have parents that tell me that their child came home saying they don't have homework.  This reference tool is going to help me so much!

You can't see all that is written on these, but I also included a little welcome message and my contact info so that parents can always get ahold of me.  

I posted the video below on Instagram and I was slammed with requests for an editable version to be posted in my shop.  



Ask and you shall receive :-) This flip book is also included in Spanish.  All the text is editable so you can customize it to make it fit your needs :-)

I received many questions about the paper I used to print these onto.  I always go with Astrobrights because they stand out beautifully :) Here are some Amazon affiliate links for your convenience:



I am beyond proud of this flip book! It took so many hours to get it right, but every minute was worth it.  This resource has made back-to-school time easy for 1,800+ teachers! Check out some of the reviews below:




EDIT: Two new flip books have been added to the bundle :-)  Click on the picture below to see the new additions!



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Grammar Wall

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Do you use a grammar wall in your classroom?  If you don't, I highly suggest doing so.  I teach ELL's in Arizona and grammar is part of every day schedule.  Our English Only classrooms use a grammar wall as well and they noticed that the children benefit greatly from referring to it on a daily basis.

We are given some grammar wall materials to use, but I have to admit, they aren't much to look at so I decided to create my own.  This grammar wall is super useful and dare I mention, looks great on the wall ;-)
Link to product HERE

The headers and cards are editable so you are free to change the parts of speech to any of the colored cards.  The set also comes with three differently sized word cards.  Large, medium, and small ones are included.  The ones you see in the picture are the medium ones.  

Here is a view of what it looks like.  This set comes with editable headers and cards as well as a completed set that is ready to print.

This is what it looks like in my new classroom:

Like these ideas?  You can also find me on:
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Clip Chart

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This week went by so fast! I'm so happy to say that I actually met Tara in person while I was in Vegas. That was pretty cool, but I was too shy to ask for a picture and now I'm regretting not getting a picture with Ms. Monday Made It herself…maybe next year?

So my school year is about to begin in three weeks!  It's crunch time!

This week I made my new clip chart.  I'm really into the solid brights look combined with some rainbow chevron and rainbow polka dot.  I tied my clip chart together with some twine, but I'm thinking of attaching them with book rings instead.  I can't make up my mind!

 As you may know, I'm a huge Melonheadz fan so I couldn't wait to use some of my new kidlette clip art!  Just looking at them makes me smile.
 I also made some reward notes to send home with my kids so that their parents know how they did for the day. They love getting these little rewards!
These are included in the following set :

Have you linked up for Monday Made It?  Click below to join!
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2 for Tuesday

It's Tuesday which means it's time for another 2 for Tuesday deal!

Today I'm coming at you with two deals, plus one :-) 

Deal 1: First half off deal is a fun one if your students love Mo Willems as much as my kids do!  This is a resource that ties informational text with the animals from the Mo Willems stories.  I wanted my students to see the difference between real text and fictional text about real animals from the stories.  So I created this resource:
Each animal has a booklet, graphic organizers, writing stationary and flap books to study the animals.  I had my second graders do Mo Willems research reports with these and they absolutely loved them! 


Deal 2: Chevron Classroom Rules Set.   Use these cards to create your classroom rules.  Each card is editable so you can type any text into it.

BONUS: I recently made some grammar walls in various themes.  My most recent one will also be on sale through midnight tonight. You can see it below:
Now stop by Chalk One Up for the Teacher and check out the other deals of the day!
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Monday Made It

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I'm linking up with for Monday Made It to share what I made this week.

I teach in Arizona and one of our requirements is to have a grammar wall/parts of speech on display at all times.  As the years went on I started referring to this bulletin board more and more and it has been so helpful with my ELL's.  I've been using the state provided headers this whole time and they are kind of plain and don't call anyone's attention.  I decided to tackle on my grammar wall and make it match my room. 

This is what it looks like displayed:
I love how bright and cheerful it looks!  I had requests for it after posting the first image above on instagram so I put this grammar set in shop for anyone that may be interested:

I made some to match a monster theme and a woodland theme too. 

Now I need to get back to work, with Vegas coming up, I won't have time to get as much done as I would like to.  Anyone else going to Vegas this week for teacher conferences?  If so, I will see you there :-)   

Don't forget to check out Monday Made It for more teacher inspiration!

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